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Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes

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The first indication of this was the lowest percentage of left-handed batters in MLB at the plate since 1989 (39.5%) in 2022. Also, left-handed players had a worse OPS than right-handed players for the third year. It had never happened in a single season before in the DH era, which started in 1973.

The Giants extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer to Joc Pederson, a left-handed hitter with little defensive ability. 

The Blue Jays, who had had the fewest left-handed plate appearances in 2022, admitted they wanted more variety by moving Teoscar Hernandez, a right-handed batter who had hit second-most home runs over the previous three seasons.

One team member mentioned Anthony Rizzo’s batting average on balls in play to me as the Yankees made a swift move to re-sign him (more on this in a bit).

Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes
Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Various important players in MLB can have a vital role in this rule

All of it comes with significant rule changes, most notably anti-shift laws intended to stop lefty batters from sliding. When the pitcher is on the rubber starting in 2023, all four infielders must have their feet planted firmly in the infield ground.

The ability of the best fielders to flop from, say, shortstop to the right side of the infield to place a team’s top fielder where the ball is most likely to be hit will no longer be possible due to the requirement that two infielders be on each side of the second base bag (which, among other things, will limit the growth of four-outfielder alignments).

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The new shift regulations were implemented at Single-A and Double-A in 2022 when the batting average on ground balls for left-handed batters increased by nine points (from.240 to.249) while remaining almost unchanged for right-handed hitters.

Therefore, the effect might be more significant since shifts occur more often and utilize better defense in the majors. Lefties had a.024 lower ground ball average than righties in 2022.

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Left-handed hitters made up the top 44 most shifted-against players in 2022 (minimum 100 plate appearances). According to Baseball Savant, switch-hitter Carlos Santana from the left side was the player who moved the most (98.3 percent of the time).

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Along with having the lowest qualifying batting average on balls in play (.219), Santana was signed by Pittsburgh on Friday for a one-year deal for $6.7 million in the hopes that a shift-free sport would provide a platform for a comeback.

ALSO READ: NFL Owner Jerry Jones Got Spotted in a 1957 Photograph, Which Left a Reporter Speechless

The first indication of this was the lowest percentage of left-handed batters in MLB at the plate since 1989 (39.5%) in 2022. Also, left-handed players had a worse OPS than right-handed players for the third year. It had never happened in a single season before in the DH era, which started in 1973.

The Giants extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer to Joc Pederson, a left-handed hitter with little defensive ability. 

The Blue Jays, who had had the fewest left-handed plate appearances in 2022, admitted they wanted more variety by moving Teoscar Hernandez, a right-handed batter who had hit second-most home runs over the previous three seasons.

One team member mentioned Anthony Rizzo’s batting average on balls in play to me as the Yankees made a swift move to re-sign him (more on this in a bit).

Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes
Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Various important players in MLB can have a vital role in this rule

All of it comes with significant rule changes, most notably anti-shift laws intended to stop lefty batters from sliding. When the pitcher is on the rubber starting in 2023, all four infielders must have their feet planted firmly in the infield ground.

The ability of the best fielders to flop from, say, shortstop to the right side of the infield to place a team’s top fielder where the ball is most likely to be hit will no longer be possible due to the requirement that two infielders be on each side of the second base bag (which, among other things, will limit the growth of four-outfielder alignments).

The new shift regulations were implemented at Single-A and Double-A in 2022 when the batting average on ground balls for left-handed batters increased by nine points (from.240 to.249) while remaining almost unchanged for right-handed hitters.

Therefore, the effect might be more significant since shifts occur more often and utilize better defense in the majors. Lefties had a.024 lower ground ball average than righties in 2022.

Left-handed hitters made up the top 44 most shifted-against players in 2022 (minimum 100 plate appearances). According to Baseball Savant, switch-hitter Carlos Santana from the left side was the player who moved the most (98.3 percent of the time).

Along with having the lowest qualifying batting average on balls in play (.219), Santana was signed by Pittsburgh on Friday for a one-year deal for $6.7 million in the hopes that a shift-free sport would provide a platform for a comeback.

ALSO READ: NFL Owner Jerry Jones Got Spotted in a 1957 Photograph, Which Left a Reporter Speechless

The first indication of this was the lowest percentage of left-handed batters in MLB at the plate since 1989 (39.5%) in 2022. Also, left-handed players had a worse OPS than right-handed players for the third year. It had never happened in a single season before in the DH era, which started in 1973.

The Giants extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer to Joc Pederson, a left-handed hitter with little defensive ability. 

The Blue Jays, who had had the fewest left-handed plate appearances in 2022, admitted they wanted more variety by moving Teoscar Hernandez, a right-handed batter who had hit second-most home runs over the previous three seasons.

One team member mentioned Anthony Rizzo’s batting average on balls in play to me as the Yankees made a swift move to re-sign him (more on this in a bit).

Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes
Value of left-handed free agents should increase as the MLB environment changes

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Masataka Yoshida, the top free-agent hitter from Japan, and Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Joey Gallo, arguably the three most intriguing candidates for a comeback, are all left-handed.

Various important players in MLB can have a vital role in this rule

All of it comes with significant rule changes, most notably anti-shift laws intended to stop lefty batters from sliding. When the pitcher is on the rubber starting in 2023, all four infielders must have their feet planted firmly in the infield ground.

The ability of the best fielders to flop from, say, shortstop to the right side of the infield to place a team’s top fielder where the ball is most likely to be hit will no longer be possible due to the requirement that two infielders be on each side of the second base bag (which, among other things, will limit the growth of four-outfielder alignments).

The new shift regulations were implemented at Single-A and Double-A in 2022 when the batting average on ground balls for left-handed batters increased by nine points (from.240 to.249) while remaining almost unchanged for right-handed hitters.

Therefore, the effect might be more significant since shifts occur more often and utilize better defense in the majors. Lefties had a.024 lower ground ball average than righties in 2022.

Left-handed hitters made up the top 44 most shifted-against players in 2022 (minimum 100 plate appearances). According to Baseball Savant, switch-hitter Carlos Santana from the left side was the player who moved the most (98.3 percent of the time).

Along with having the lowest qualifying batting average on balls in play (.219), Santana was signed by Pittsburgh on Friday for a one-year deal for $6.7 million in the hopes that a shift-free sport would provide a platform for a comeback.

ALSO READ: NFL Owner Jerry Jones Got Spotted in a 1957 Photograph, Which Left a Reporter Speechless

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